Rafael Nadal gains measure of revenge against Denis Shapovalov in Rome

18 May, 2018, 16:55 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Nadal Djokovic power on as Thiem crashes out in Rome

epa06744903 Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Denis Shapovalov of Canada during their men's singles third round match of the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, 17 May 2018.

Nadal, who has not won the Italian Open since 2013, next faces Fabio Fognini, who beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.

"I just really wanted to win this match against a really classy player", said the five-time Grand Slam champion. "I think this was probably one of the three matches that I played this way in the past 12 months".

"I will do all of the exams now and then I will try to make a good decision for the future".

Get breaking news alerts. "I started with some mistakes on the return but with my serve, I didn't lose many points". She rallied in the second drawing on her vast experience but the 37-year-old star lost the second set tiebreak by seven points to three.

Thiem says it will not be an issue playing one week before the start of the French Open and will spend the time making a few tweaks while trying to build some momentum at the same time. The Madrid loss was clearly an aberration and Rafa is definitely looking determined to head to Paris with an eighth title on claycourts of Rome.

Shapovalov showed admirable determination but his frustrations got the better of him in an increasingly one-sided second set, with the 31-year-old remaining on course for an eighth title in Rome that would see him regain world number one.

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The 21-year-old will play Belgian David Goffin after the ninth seed advanced when Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro retired while trailing 6-2, 4-5 with a groin injury.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic accounted for Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 while British No.1 Kyle Edmund was valiant in defeat to second seed Alexander Zverev, falling 7-5 7-6 (13-11). "[Fognini] is a tough player and I'm looking forward to the challenge". Halep needed to reach at least the last eight and go further than world number two Caroline Wozniacki to retain the top ranking going into the French Open.

In the women's event, number eight seed and five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams suffered a shock loss to Estonia's Anett Kontaveit.

The Romanian, a finalist in Rome previous year, is on her way to holding on to top spot as she next plays France's Caroline Garcia who dumped out US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-1, 7-6 (9/7).

Defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine fought back from a first set wipeout against Daria Kasatkina to win 0-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Next up for Ramos-Vinolas is a meeting with Novak Djokovic, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-4 6-2.

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